Workshop Teaches Girls Computational Thinking and Computer Science

What happens when when you pair together a 13-year-old girl and a 6-year-old girl to program together? A lot of learning! On Saturday, January 24th We Can Code IT hosted a Make Your Own Virtual Pet workshop at a residence in Richmond Heights. Ten girls participated. Their age ranges were a bit of a challenge since teens learn at a different pace than children under the age of ten, so we paired the younger girls with older girls to see what would happen. The result? The older girls loved showing the younger girls loved helping the younger girls following along, and the younger girls loved getting help from the older kids. By the end of the workshop all of the kids had successfully created their own virtual pets in Scratch! It was a delight to see these girls work together and learn together.

The girls started their journey in computational thinking, a much needed and important 21st century skill for everyone, not just computer scientists! They were introduced to and practiced computational thinking concepts, practices, and perspectives as they created virtual pets. They learned about sequences, loops, parallelism, events, conditionals, operators, and data. They experimented, and they tested after every programming step they took. They expressed, connected, and questioned. They even reused and modularized blocks.

Throughout the workshop, the girls were encouraged to speak about what they were learning and what they could do with their newfound computer science skills. From lawyers to ballerinas, the girls spoke about how their career paths could be further shaped with learning computer science. They realized that computer science is an important part of nearly every career!

All of the girls earned certificates for being such wonderful We Can Code IT students. They also showed their virtual pet games off to their very impressed parents.

Thanks to our volunteers, Holly, Shana, Sam, Matt, James, and Mel.

Thanks to the STEMtuition group for hosting!

Special thanks to all of the hard working girls who participated in this workshop, and all of their parents who raising girls in computer science!